Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Botany and Ormiston Times Thursday July 21 2016
■■ By Marianne Kelly Having completed his first term on the Howick Local Board, Garry Boles intends to run again, but this time on his home patch in the Pakuranga subdivision where he has lived for 51 years. The police officer was successful in gaining a seat representing the Botany subdivision on the board last time. “I felt part of the area. I had been working here [Botany] in the police for eight years, was often out in the community and people knew me.” Since then his police role has changed and also, as a Bucklands Beach resident, he says it feels “more soulful to be running in my own patch”. There’s also a statistical reason for his switch. He’s one of the Vision & Voice ticket set up for the last election to gain a majority hold on the local board. This year well-known community leader Peter Young, who arrived in Botany from Hong Kong in 1998, is joining the Vision & Voice team for a tilt at a place on the board. A contemporary, Paul Young, is not standing in Botany. So the statistics point to wholesale Chinese community support for Peter Young which carries the danger that Mr Boles could be nudged out of a three-horse race. Meantime long-standing local body politician, Steve Udy, has announced that he will not stand again for his seat in the Pakuranga subdivision leaving a current space in the line-up for Mr Boles. “A lot of times people said to me ‘why don’t you run in your own area?’ and I struggled with that,” Mr Boles says. “But it’s nice to be going into battle in my own area. It’s a turf thing, a human trait to fight for it.” Joining the board was an eye opener, he says. While he represented Botany, he discovered that he was, in reality working for the entire ward. “Sometimes it was very complicated, such as where the money comes from. But all the board members were very supportive. “Now I have done my first three years it’s like I have my university papers to be a local board member. I now have an understanding about how my influence can be used to get results.” If re-elected, he’s hoping to continue in the sport, recreation and leisure facilities portfolio. “We’ve spoken to 57 different sports codes out there,” he says. “We’ve identified big holes. A big one was gymnastics which doesn’t have its own building compared with other codes helped by the council in different ways. “My ambition is to see a sport gym established at Lloyd Elsmore Park which could accommodate other clubs.” He’s learned a lot about the constant upgrading maintenance work the council does and admits to sometimes being frustrated with the bureaucratic governance system. “ When we upgrade a roundabout half the costs are in permits and a traffic management plan – closing the road and putting diversions in. I struggle with that bureaucracy. “I understand the safety issues, but I’m frustrated at the money we have to pay out for this stuff. “ We can’t let the council people go for it. We’ve got to say ‘hang on, that’s too much money’. “ We’ve got to think cleverly to make the right decisions for ratepayers.” If he wins a second term he’s looking forward to more responsibility and bigger challenges. “I’m a slow mover. I don’t take too much on. I would rather achieve something and then move forward rather than rushing at it. I don’t want to be left with projects that have gone wrong.” However, his next aspiration is to eventually be an elected councillor. “I could rush to the top and be really bad at it,” he says. “Some people are promoted to their level of incompetence. I don’t want to be that guy.” ■■ By Marianne Kelly It’s a tradition for Howick Ward councillor Sharon Stewart to collect Auckland Council nomination forms in person. So she was shocked to arrive at the Manukau Service Centre in Manukau to find staff on reception oblivious to the fact that Friday, July 15 was the opening of nominations for the upcoming local body elections. Worse, they had no idea where to find the nomination forms. “ The staff should have been advised of how to deal with the public coming in to get nomination forms,” she says. And the issue did not just affect Howick, but people wanting to collect forms for the Manukau Ward including Otara-Papatoetoe and Mangere-Otahuhu local boards, and the Manurewa-Papakura and Franklin Wards. “ The ladies on reception have over the years been very helpful, and this is the first year they hadn’t a clue about nomination forms,” Mrs Stewart says. Eventually the forms were found but, she says, “it’s not good enough. It’s very disappointing for the first day of nominations”. “I was told I could download them, but I had come all this way to pick them up.” Marguerite Delbet, Auckland Council’s manager democracy services says staff members from each of the council’s service centres have been trained to advise candidates on the nominations process and each service centre has been provided with a set of nomination forms for their area. “Unfortunately a trained staff member at Manukau Service Centre was not available last Friday morning when Councillor Stewart visited. “ The nomination forms were available at the service centre but could not be immediately located by other staff. “We have apologised to Councillor Stewart, couriered a set of forms to her and implemented steps to ensure we always have staff cover in future.” Candidates can also download nomination forms from the council website, they do not need to be collected in person. Elected roles include local boards, councillors and mayor, along with district health board representatives and licensing trust members in some areas. Anyone over the age of 18 can stand for election as long as they are a New Zealand citizen and on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll. election candidates Standing again but moving house www.times.co.nz Botany and Ormiston Times, Thursday, July 21, 2016 — 9 KC11809 The Howick Local Board Pakuranga subdivision Vision & Voice team, from left Katrina Bungard, Garry Boles and David Collings. Times photo Marianne Kelly Sharon Stewart, Howick Ward councillor noMination forMs Stuttering start to election bid More info ■➤ Nominations close at noon on August 12. Voting documents are posted out from September 16 and must be received by the electoral officer by noon on election day October 8. ■➤ More information is online at www.aucklandcouncil.govt. nz/nominations.
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